Alison Thumel




In forever you find
you revert
to conventional

work and 80
percent of your days
start from discarded

clippings, samples,
tidy causes
in contact with

your past. Approach
a six-year-old.
Rebound the rules

because most prefer to
find things normal,
to follow the flow.

Your span is only once.
You'll brighten.
You'll start.




I realize my habit of taking care of my younger brother was my favorite pastime. My mother wasn't actually able to fold my dream of saving that roaming thing. I knew nothing about water, the tank in between two kids, our contents, the poor storage. If only there was one long space. If I had assumed it was true. If I had a time machine. If you still could begin when halfway. If you are by nature.




If all at once, it's already wrong.
Don't be fooled. People cannot

change. When I encountered the shock
of several hours motionless on earth

I could see parts that had never been
revealed before. My insides were

visible. Every one of them the root
within a span of time. What came

when I was devouring one day,
tomorrow, the day after that,

the following day? I could not keep pace
with the half-hearted perfection of each.

One at a time unable to stop. Overcome
by the previous night, life returns

temporarily. The space itself. Does it
look more than just physical? Is the heart

in a tidy room? What is the moment
I can make the easy leap? 




Would you experience
significant pain?

I never tried.

I experience myself
carefully. I own
my internal noise.

Melodies can
be addictive.

You will feel
a thrill.

Resist even when
these thoughts
color your joy.

I let you be.

Your life,
in the end
outlived what
you buried

Every person,
how many,
letting go.





After the third floor dropped in,
people discovered every problem

related to cloth. As you apply
the hands, skin seems to fold.

The folding pulls taut wrinkles,
the resilience of the fold protecting

bodies where frayed or worn.
Many people have been hardened

like bookshelves laid flat. Some mimic
smooth materials to keep thinner.

You connect the light at impossible
minutes, extract air, an arrow, rising

lines that slope heavy to your heart.
The cells in your body all tied in a knot,

you fold in half. You damage your folded feet                                 
twice, four times. Did you notice your sigh

loose at the top? Do you divide not to be
wilted, as if to stay vibrant and alive?





If they don't spark joy, what does one do with artifacts of grief?

The source text for these erasures comes from: Kondo, Marie. (2014). The life-changing magic of tidying up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. (Cathy Hirano, Trans.) Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.